The Dark Knight, released in 2008, has become one of the most successful superhero action films of the decade. The motion picture to this day ranks 4th among the best films in the history of the IMDb movie site. Directed by Christopher Nolan, this film was the second in a trilogy dedicated to the legendary comic book hero Batman. This film tells about the confrontation between two antagonists: Batman and the Joker, whose face is disfigured by scars, because of which the villain wears an eerie “eternal smile” on his face.
Will the defender of the city cope with a new sophisticated and cruel enemy who has challenged Gotham and its inhabitants, as well as with the many temptations and challenges that fate will throw in the face of both opponents and allies?
The film raises many acute social, political and philosophical problems, allowing the viewer to decide for himself what is acceptable for him and what is not, and to take the side that he sincerely sympathizes with.
Meaning of The Dark Knight
The main idea of the film is based on the concepts of the relativity of good and evil. The world, unlike the gloomy city in which events unfold, is not black and white, and often even those who have not stained themselves with crimes face a difficult choice: what to do and what to sacrifice to save lives?
The film raises the problem of the law and its ability to resist evil. The “White Knight”, a city attorney who seeks to neutralize the threat posed by delinquents through justice and institutions subordinate to the law, is not only opposed to the one he seeks to catch and neutralize. His main opposite is the “Dark Knight”, Batman, for whom there are no forbidden methods in the fight against the evil from which, as a small child, he suffered, becoming a witness to the murder of both parents.
However, even evil itself wears different masks and has a different history in the face of those who serve it. The Joker, despite the moral and external ugliness (there are many legends about the birth of the “evil jester”, from a cruel father to the fall of the Joker into a tank of acid that corroded his face; one way or another, the external ugliness in the film is one of the internal reasons for formation of the evil ego of a clown), appears as a very intelligent and brave opponent (he, like Batman, does not resort to any “external” methods of struggle, relying only on natural intelligence and charm). Neither the fear of risk, nor the fear of death and capture stops him. He is a typical trickster (a jester, a deceiver whose behavior does not fit into the canon of the plot location and thanks to this contributes to the development of a dynamic plot) and loves the “big game”: it is thanks to the Joker that the action from a small gloomy town is transferred to Asia and acquires an international dimension. The main difficulty of this character lies in the fact that all the evil that he does, he does not for the sake of political or economic benefits, but simply for the sake of chaos. He is an ideological villain, and this makes him especially dangerous.
The film also raises the question of politics: not only individuals, but also states, harboring obviously dangerous criminals, can condone the spread of crime, and hence evil.
The choice has also become an important topic: tossing a coin that decides the fate of people is much easier than admitting to oneself that the line that separates morality from immorality and reason from insanity has long been erased. Weakened and succumbing to the persuasion of the Joker, the once “White Knight” takes on the role of Two-Face, becoming a cold-blooded killer, avenging the death of a person dear to him and placing responsibility on a coin that was burned on one side, which he tosses before the final decision (which, of course, was made long ago by him in the depths of the soul, thirsty for blood).
The scene with the ferries also puts both the heroes of the picture and the audience in front of the question: whose life is more valuable to me, my own or the life of another person? The Joker’s cynicism in this scene reaches its peak: reporting on explosive devices on both ships that take civilians and prisoners out of the city, he deliberately puts himself in the position of the winner, because if the decision to destroy the ship is made, then each of the other people involved in the death will stand up with Joker one step.
The meaning of the film’s ending
The struggle between evil and good will never end. The only way to help the participants in this struggle is to hope for the victory of the forces of light.
You can sacrifice yourself not only by giving your life, but also by allowing your reputation to be ruined for the sake of whitewashing a name that people really trusted. Batman, taking such a step (preserving the reputation of the fallen White Knight), is well aware that the struggle continues and it is this, at first glance, a losing step that can help defeat the triumphant evil.